Technology does not equal security

Spybot screenshot

Bruce Schneier, an author and security expert, commented a few days ago on an article on Yahoo News that is pertinent for readers of this blog. The article stated that a group of European businessmen and researchers is attempting to develop software that will enable ground crews to take over the controls of an airplane should hijackers attempt to use the plane as a weapon.

The article reports that:

The system would be designed in such a way that even a computer hacker on board could not get round it.

Obviously, there is a potential problem with this. What if the hijackers use this system to override the controls of the plane (continue reading…)

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Windows firewall is not good enough

As far as I know, Windows Firewall, which comes with Windows XP Service Pack 2, is fairly effective at inbound protection (warding off hackers and other threats coming from the outside world), but it doesn’t have any outbound protection.

Outbound protection is important because it can prevent spyware on your computer from sending the information it has collected back over the internet to whoever is trying to spy on you. (continue reading…)

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Spam rage?

This is an old story, but so is the problem. By following some of the advice on Defending the Kingdom, you should be able to avoid the fate of this man, who was arrested for “spam rage”:

Booher threatened to send a “package full of Anthrax spores” to the company, to “disable” an employee with a bullet and torture him with a power drill and ice pick; and to hunt down and castrate the employees unless they removed him from their e-mail list, prosecutors said.


Booher said the problem stemmed from a program he mistakenly downloaded from the Internet that brought a continuous stream of advertising to his computer.

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Destroy spyware and annihilate adware

Spybot screenshot

Your computer is hopelessly lost to adware and spyware and viruses. I know because I’ve seen computers like yours. If you upgraded to Firefox as I suggested in the last post, you’re headed in the right direction, but there is more to be done.

Now you need to download two programs (free, of course) that will kill anything that manages to get by your defences. (continue reading…)

Get Firefox and be safer

Firefox browser logo

If you do just one thing to increase the level of security on your computer, make it a switch to the Firefox browser. If you’re like most internet users, you probably use Internet Explorer. But then again, if you’re like most internet users, you are probably not being kept very secure as you surf the web, and the browser you use is a big part of that.

How much safer is Firefox?

As of 28 July 2006, Secunia, a company that monitors browser vulnerabilities, reports that Firefox has 33 vulnerabilities, 4 of which remain unpatched. In contrast, Internet Explorer has 105 vulnerabilities, 21 of which remain unpatched. (continue reading…)

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